Imagine this: Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and the San Diego Padres still have five openings on their pitching staff.
That’s not good news, especially if you are a San Diego sports enthusiast.
There are seven spots filled on the staff … with even some of those being less than what you would expect at this level.
For starters, Jake Peavy and Chris Young are solid. After them are presumably (No. 3) Cha Seung Baek and (No. 4) Kevin Correia, both of whom would be long relievers at best on most teams.
And it gets even worse in the bullpen.
Heath Bell will be a closer for the first time.
Cla Meredith, who was sent to the minors for a time in 2008 for being ineffective, will be one of the two main set-up men.
The other – Duaner Sanchez – was already cut by the New York Mets this year and hasn’t been the same since suffering a serious shoulder injury in a 2006 taxi cab accident.
After those seven, the final five spots are up for grabs. Even General Manager Kevin Towers says the Padres will be looking for pitchers cut by other teams.
So there you have it: The best the Padres can do is hope for people on the scrap heap elsewhere to suddenly become successful Padres in 2009.
Put it this way. If you are the opposition, you have to like your chances unless Peavy or Young pitch at least eight innings vs. you!